There is a strong philosophy that permeates and guides the library program, although it manifests differently depending on the intellectual and developmental needs of the class. Central to the library program is developing and nurturing in our students a sense of wonder and curiosity in the world around them. Access to information is increasing exponentially and the development of good research skills, coupled with the ability to think about, evaluate, and respond to information, is paramount. Of equal importance is fostering in our students the desire to seek, question and discover. The library program is infused with subtle and subliminal paths to wonderment, the most potent conduit being through reading and stories.
The library program prioritizes and promotes a strong culture of reading, with a particular emphasis on reading for pleasure. Good literature engages both cognitively and emotionally, providing the motivation and inspiration to seek, inquire and learn. Stories are portals to connection, discovery and motivation. Our ability to think conceptually is predicated on having a facility with language. Literary reading, books that have been written with a particular attentiveness to language, play an elemental part in intellectual and emotional growth by: developing and nurturing linguistic consciousness; enlivening and cultivating imagination; instigating disquiet and triggering questions; providing a portal into the thoughts and feelings of others, fostering empathy; nurturing and enhancing cultural and civic life; and connecting us to our own inner existence. The latter is important at any age but most particularly with our tweens and teens who are particularly engaged in the often emotional challenge of defining who they are. Quality Young Adult Literature addresses the inner life of the teen, validating and mirroring teen conflict and struggle while providing choices, comfort and possible solutions.
The library collection is eclectic, with books that speak to all kinds of learners. As we shift into a more visual and image driven culture, visual literacy, the ability to both decode and understand how to read static and moving images, is becoming increasingly important. Our library program reflects this through our collection, read alouds, discussion and partnering with the Media Center across the hall.
A strong emphasis on reading aloud to all ages of our student population, Lower School and Upper School, furthers a positive connection to books and language development. We have forged relationships with public libraries in the area, expanding our student’s consciousness of how to avail themselves of information outside of their immediate environment.